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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Letter: I’ve had enough with the all the protests

Dear editor:

I initially wanted to refrain from making any comments about the self-proclaimed "freedom convoy."

I've had enough. I woke up one morning thinking about what I had missed in understanding the events of the past few weeks related to the protests that sprang up across Canada.

Had I been too complacent about my placid little life in Niagara-on-the-Lake, away (for now) from what happened in Ottawa, Canadian cities and the U.S. border?

Have I been too far removed from what is happening since I have not been directly affected by it?

Should I just give up and submit to international extremist groups and far-right evangelical forces in the United States?

Fortunately, an article published in La Presse de Montréal headlined "Mind Your Own Business (please)" was sent to me.

If nothing else, I invite you to at least read the first few paragraphs, translated here:

"For 26 days, their trucks had held the country hostage. Some of them had the wheels removed from their juggernauts to prevent law enforcement from towing them. Their operations were financed by foreign funds. Funds paid, among others, by the American secret services. At their head was one of the leaders of Patria y Libertad, a far-right paramilitary group.

It was Chile's Red October in 1972.

The Chilean truckers' strike had been the first of a series of crises engineered to destabilize the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. With the success that we know: a year later, the military junta had seized power."

Reading this article, it did not seem to me that the armed forces were going to be called as they were during the Oka crisis in 1990, which was a protest against a court decision allowing the expansion of a golf course.

Are politicians just too concerned about the backlash that could ensue in the next election? Will part of the electorate also go all the way to oust the current political parties? That said, I can understand the danger of creating martyrs among extremists. Certain things are a-changing!

Here in Ontario Premier Doug Ford, disappeared for almost two weeks. The premiers of the western provinces could also have acted, as pointed out by Winnipeg Free Press journalist Niigaan Sinclair.

As an example, to deal with the border protests in Coutts, Alta., Premier Jason Kenney could have invoked the Infrastructure Act, which he has used or tried to use against Indigenous people linked to the construction of pipelines.

Arguably, our politicians initially preferred to use white gloves to try to put an end to protests.

However, I must admit that law enforcement must be careful about creating martyrs that the leaders of these convoys will seize upon to promote their causes, whatever they may be.

It is despicable that organizers tried to use children as human shields. What country are we in anyway?

Gilbert Comeault